Unfortunately some one kindly scrapped the side of my Alfa Romeo. So whilst the cosmetic damage was being dealt with I had a couple of loan cars. Rather trying to write a review like a car magazine (carry capacity of a boot etc) I thought I’d share my observations that made me laugh, wince and smile.

The Nissan 1st ….
A car loaded with all the electrical toys from the sensible like Bluetooth to a G Force meter (in a 1.6 petrol powered car)!!

The MP3/music selection scored well on the geek-o-meter by being a central touch screen. But trying to change album (folder) whilst was just stupidly difficult and dangerous whilst driving.

Reversing and you got a reward looking camera – great to make sure no children’s toys to accidentally squash, but the truth is those old fashioned wing mirrors far more helpful.

I think the Juke is just a jacked up small car. But jacking it up ruined any handling there was. For all the electronics I still experienced understeer and traction loss at 20mph in the damp.

I Nalso do a lot of motorway driving, and the slab sided shape and ride height made the car suffer from cross winds.

Now for the Insignia ….
This time a diesel SRi. A lot less in the gadget department, and an odd mix in my opinion. So we had sat nav which couldn’t take post codes. But no Bluetooth hands free, I’d have happily swapped the 2 features.

The screen was a good size and could use it with a BMW Idrive style control (dial based control next to handbrake ). But the screen only changed background colours at night too bright still.

On the subject of handbrake rather than a traditional leaver it had a little electronic switch. To then disengage you had to do a learner like hill start release (try to power so car strains against the breaks). This can’t do much for your pads and disks.

We had electric windows at the front but at the back it was still manual. I didnt think anyone did that anymore.

Automatic headlights – nice. But no auto dimming review mirror.

It looks like Vauxhall haven’t learnt from Alfa’s mistake of 10 years ago – pretty shaped mirrors are useless. Accepted the side profile of the car wasn’t bad, but what an ugly rear.

Given the car had Vauxhall’s sport tag (SRi) the drivers seat was part electric but no lumber adjustment and the seat back angle was as clumsy leaver.

Finally I did find the car handling was a bit fidgety on the motorway which was tiring on the arms after a couple of hours driving. Probably the the price of a lighter car with good fuel economy.

And with the return of the Alfa…
Heavier Thant the Insignia and as a result not as efficient but so finessed for a driver experience. That midrange acceleration is deeply satisfying. My only grouch the MP3 info display is poor. But I can for give that.